Shillong, July 26 (PTI): Meghalaya BJP vice-president Bernard N Marak who is accused of operating a sex racket at his farmhouse in the state was arrested in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday, a senior Police officer said.
Marak, a former militant leader, is absconding following a police raid at the farmhouse at Tura in the State’s West Garo Hills district, from where six minors were rescued and 73 people were arrested on Saturday.
“Bernard N Marak alias Rimpu has been arrested in Uttar Pradesh. A team is being sent there to bring him to Tura,” district superintendent of police Vivekanand Singh told PTI.
Hours after the authorities in Meghalaya issued a look out notice against him, Marak was arrested in Hapur district by the UP police, Singh said.
A look out notice is issued to make sure that a wanted person is not able to leave the country.
A court in Tura had on Monday issued a non-bailable warrant of arrest against the BJP leader.
The BJP is a part of the State’s ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA), led by chief minister Conrad K Sangma’s NPP.
Police said that the BJP vice president was instructed to cooperate with the investigation and surrender at Shillong Sadar police station but he was evading arrest.
Marak, a militant-turned-politician, has claimed that he is innocent and alleged that he is the target of political vendetta by the CM and fears for his life.
The State BJP also backed his claim.
Rejecting the allegation, deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong said the Government allows the police to act as per their wisdom.
“Law is law irrespective of any party and whether or not he is part of the Government. Unpleasant things have happened and we will let the law take its own course,” Tynsong said.
Police earlier said they rescued the minors based on a tip-off, and seized hundreds of liquor bottles and condoms, besides dozens of cars from the farmhouse, ‘Rimpu Bagan’.
Marak is facing charges under various sections of the IPC and the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act, 1956.
He has more than 25 criminal cases registered against him since the early 2000s across the North-eastern state.
Bernard N Marak was the chairman of the now disbanded armed rebel group ANVC(B), a breakaway faction of Achik National Volunteer Council, before he joined the BJP and won the tribal council elections from Tura.